Hi friends! I have a special project to share with you today. I have been working on this for a few days. I thought I would talk about my process, and also do a quick review on my most used supplies: paper and Copic Markers.
I saw a card on Instagram a few weeks ago that stopped me in my tracks. I immediately headed over to Gina K. Designs, and bought the Timeless Poppies stamp. The stamp is illustrated by Arjita, one of my favorite carmakers to follow on social media.
First, let’s talk about paper. I have tried many different papers to color on. I found three papers that work best for me: Spectrum Noir Ultra Smooth Premium Card Stock, MFT’s No-Line Coloring Card Stock, and X-Press It Blending Card. The first two options are the most budget friendly, especially when you catch a sale. They seem to be pretty much the same card stock. The colors are a nice white, and they both have a slick, ultra smooth finish that really works well with alcohol markers. With that said, it’s the X-Press It Blending Card that I reach for the most. Especially for a project like this. The paper is a light weight, and the texture is ultra ULTRA smooth. Alcohol marker ink blends like butter on this paper! This paper has a cool tone to it, almost blue-gray. The price is pretty steep, so I buy it with a coupon.
Now let’s talk about markers. I color with Copic Markers. I do have other Alcohol Markers, but haven’t touched them in 2 years. I wish I had went straight to Copic a few years back when I bought my first marker. Spectrum Noir markers are inexpensive, and I thought I was doing well with them. Until a friend let me use her Copics. That was a game changer. Only problem? The price! My goodness, $8 a marker?!! That was a hard investment for me to decide on. So I started with coupons. (Who doesn’t love coupons??) I bought a few small sets from Micheal’s in the beginning. I figured out what colors from the sets I was using the most, and started building my collection around them. I looked on Pinterest for Copic color combos, I went to cardmaker’s blogs, and looked at the combos they used. It’s nice to have a pretty yellow; it’s better to have two or three more that compliment it!. Here’s a list of some of my go-to combos that I’ve put together:
One last note about coloring with Copics: having a scratch piece of paper (the same that your project is on) and a coloring chart with you is everything! I can’t imagine doing project with out them. I practice new combos, make sure I like whatever color I picked, etc, on the scratch paper. I also use Sandy Allnock’s Copics Hex chart. I highly recommend having one, if you don’t already.
Now let’s move onto the coloring process of this project.
I used my MISTI to stamp this large floral arrangement onto X-Press It paper. I used InkOn3 Fade Out ink. As you can see, it is super light, so I stamped it twice. Next, I stamped the image onto SSS masking paper with black ink, and used Cutter Bee Scissors to cut out the mask. I covered the images, then blended Pinkfresh Studio’s Espresso and Doe inks over the images to make my background. I removed the mask, and started coloring.
I always want to pushed myself when coloring. I never want to stay in a safe zone. This helps me learn where I need to improve. I take advantage of YouTube. There’s so much free knowledge to learn from! From beginners to expert, there’s something for every level. I have moved towards illustrators and comic book artists. They are definitely expert level, and are super willing to share coloring tips. A few illustrator channels to check out: Polar Bear Sketches, REIQ, & Laovaan. You can find more videos on YouTube by searching Copic Coloring.
As happy as I was with the Copic coloring, I wanted to add more fine details. This is where colored pencils come in. I used Faber Castell Polychromos. Biggest tip I can give about pencils… always have a sharp tip! Always! I color with a pencil sharpener right next to me. Also, hold your pencil near the top, and color at an angle, in a soft circular motion. When I want a defined fine line, I do hold the pencil near the bottom, but holding it at the top really saves on tip breakage. I mainly used Indigo, Sepia, and white for my detail work. I used a couple reds to smooth some areas of the flowers out, and greens on the leaves, but the dark lines and shading are Indigo and Sepia.
I have been coloring now for almost 3 years. I was so scared at first, then decided to just do it. I have colored almost daily ever since. I haven’t paid for a class, just took advantage of the free information and inspiration other artists gracefully share. If you’re new to coloring, don’t be intimidated. just take your time, and practice!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Copic Colors used:
- Reds:R59, R39, R29, R27,R24, R22, R20, R00
- Greens: YG99, YG97, YG93, YG91
- Blue Greens: BG75, BG72, BG70; BG99, BG96, BG93, BG90
- Yellows: Y21, V93